Ch. P. If freedom is for the sake of doing good, why do we give so many people freedom to do a bunch of crappy things?
I like how St. Augustine put it down - that Freedom is not Free-will. Free-will is the capacity to choose between good and evil, whereas Freedom is the ability to choose what is good (as opposed to being enslaved by sin).
No person ever defines what is good for themselves, rather they discover what is good for them through discernment and reason - when speaking about basic-human actions (4 cardinal virtues).
To define good is to absurd as trying to tell the world to cease to contain oxygen in it. It will have oxygen whether we like to or not, and no mental act alone can change reality as it stands.
To define what is good is principally a dishonest means to wiggle out of what we already know to be true.
M. B. how do we discern between this "what we already know to be true" and 1) a modern interpretation of what is good for the common person or group, and 2) a personal definition of varying levels of subjective conscious wellbeing.
It would seem that in obtaining/creating a "true" or "God given" set of moral principles, we unintentionally (or intentionally) inject some subjectivity. I believe this subjectivity is a function of what is currently accepted in society.
Ch. P. M., its important to realize that subjectivity is not contrary to objectivity. Both are mutually important. What makes subjectivity authentic, is integrity (searching out the truth through our own experience without being dishonest with ourselves, i.e. rationalization, self-deception, etc). Thus, our subjectivity can be objective, without necessarily being a contradiction.
For instance, it is a universal principle that we should do all things in moderation. If I'm hungry I should not eat 100 hamburgers, nor should I only eat one fry. Both are extremes *(one a defect the other an excess). But that moderation is "relative" to each person, insofar as one person's metabolism differs from another. Thus, the objective standard is immaterial (principle) meanwhile the application is relative. In most cases that is, but there are some instances where there are things that are "intrinsically evil"
ego: Your metabolism likeness answers the question: one man needs the freedom to eat one burgher and a small bag of french fries, another to have two big french fries and a BigMac, plus plenty of mayo, so both freedoms exist.
The crappy things are like the latter eating or getting money to eat only one burgher and a small french fries, or the former eating the BigMac, two big bags of french fries plus plenty of mayo.
But that is not abusing a freedom that should not be there, it is abusing one that should be there, but for opposite combination of use and subjects.
Ch. P. True, and even St. Thomas would agree, people need to have the freedom to "wiggle" a bit. But I think or the most part the issue is an uncontemplated government. It "reacts" to fads, and population demands, but it doesn't even contemplate its own purpose. Ask a politician what the purpose of having freedom is, and you'll get a confused answer.
"Why is freedom good?" And you'll get an answer probably like "It just is" or "its good to do whatever you want."
None of these answers are sufficent, and if they are the basis for freedoms...crap, we are going to have a bunch of people that are "free" because its good to be free (whatever that means?) and then we'll have others who will just do whatever the Heck they want. *Yah...that is a civilized world
ego: But, other things being equal, it is good to do whatever you want, rather than being stopped from it.
And no, it is not a case of "even St Thomas would agree people need to have the freedom to wiggle a bit", it is rather a case of his saying there is a difference between God's law and secular law, and the latter simply should not forbid as much as the former.
Vide: de lege, utrum lex debeat omnes peccata prohibere.
Ch. P. The Natural and Legal Law are subordinate to the Divine Law and are derrivitive of the eternal law.
Furthermore, I'd rather be stopped form doing something that I want, if it was harmful to me. LIke I said before I think its a matter "of balance"
I mean, if you take what you are saying too far, essentially there'd be no reason for Police or a Justice System.
ego: Justice yes, in so far as mortal sins that harm others are to be prohibited, as well as others that harm public peace.
Police, maybe not: it was a Moslem invention. Charlemagne did without, not so Haroun ar Rashid
Ch. P. You truly are a libertarian.
Thomas Aquinas believed in police :)
ego: Where does he say so? That he believes in judges, prosecutors, witnesses is clear, what is totally NOT clear is a supposed belief on his part in policemen monitoring who "signs in" in a hotel or helping doctors to make mental patients captives under treatment or helping social assistants take away children from parents (except if they were killing their child or taking away a baptised child's Catholic faith) or helping school teachers to shove children to schools where they do not want to be. That is totally not clear from what he said or wrote.
And, no, I am not a [total] libertarian. I do not believe abortion, sodomy, rape, et c should be tolerated. Or murder or theft.
I do however believe part of the duty of protecting citizens against murder and mayhem, or even slavery, may well be in the hands of armed citizens rather than an armed special force.
Thus Church Fathers cite the case of a man killing in self defense against a criminal attack "according to the laws of the emperors".
Posted 27/V/2010 - 31/V/2010